Preston ranked among UK cities with biggest influx of people returning to the workplace

Preston City Centre

Preston has ranked among the UK cities with the biggest influx of people returning to the workplace according to Dojo, who have analysed Google Maps data for their findings.





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The data shows that Preston has ranked among highest for commuting footfall.

With restrictions gradually lifting and some workers now making the choice to return to work, Dojo looked at the footfall of workplaces on Google Maps.

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Dojo compared the footfall at the height of the pandemic in mid-January 2021 and when restrictions started to lift in mid-April 2021 to find out which cities and towns are phasing back into the workplace, and Preston ranked one of the highest.

In the past couple of weeks the city of Preston in Lancashire has ranked among one of the cities with the biggest influx of people returning back to work, they ranked ninth among the top 15 UK cities.

As Preston prepared for post-pandemic life, they saw a 15 per cent increase in footfall at workplaces within the city with people returning back to work when compared with figures from January 2021. 

Although the city’s workplace footfall is still 21 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, the data shows that the city is phasing back to work more than any other on the list.

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Dojo delved into Google Maps data which discovered which cities have seen an increase in footfall in main business locations in the past month. The data compares 13th January 2021’s workplace footfall compared to April 14th’s footfall.

Ranking City/Town Workplace Footfall % (13/01/21) Workplace Footfall % (14/04/21) % Increase of Workplace Footfall 
1 Chelmsford -59 -40 19
2 Luton -42 -25 17
3 Southend-on-Sea -54 -37 17
4 Blackpool -39 -23 16
5 Middlesbrough -40 -24 16
6 Norwich -50 -34 16
7 Bedford -45 -30 15
8 Darlington -43 -28 15
9 Preston -36 -21 15
10 Liverpool -51 -36 15
11 Swansea -50 -35 15
12 Hartlepool -36 -22 14
13 Kingston upon Hull -37 -23 14
14 Milton Keynes -51 -37 14
15 Peterborough -41 -27 14

The percentage of workplace footfall for each date in the data is compared to the baseline average footfall pre-pandemic, with the baseline being 0 per cent.

Therefore in January Preston saw 36 per cent lower footfall compared to pre-pandemic levels, however rising in April to just 21 per cent lower footfall.

The data shows that although people are still not back to work as much as pre-pandemic levels, the easing of restrictions means there is a gradual move back into the city centre to commercial offices and places of work.

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